Taken on a SouthWings flight over the Mississippi River Delta with Gulf Restoration Network, these photos by Jonathan Henderson link visible wetlands damage to specific permits that oil and gas companies obtained for drilling at these sites in coastal Louisiana.
Annotated aerial photo set available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/healthygulf/sets/72157643594038754/
The straight lines in this photo (right) are examples of the canals that oil and gas companies dredge through wetlands to access well sites. These artificial canals disrupt wetland hydrology and exacerbate or cause wetlands loss. A study conducted by the US Geological Survey found that oil and gas activities caused 36% of the coastal land loss that occurred in Louisiana from 1932 to 1990.
Read more about this from Jonathan Henderson here.
A report issued by the Democrats of the House Committee on Natural Resources concluded that offshore drilling safety lapses continue even three years after the BP Spill in 2010. In a press release, Representative Ed Markey (D-5th District, MA), ranking member on the House Committee on Natural Resources said, “Oil and gas companies with the worst safety records in the Gulf before the BP disaster continue to spill oil, lose control of their wells and rack up safety violations today.” The report was prepared by Markey’s Natural Resources committee staff based on data from the Technical Information Management System (TIMS) database maintained by the Department of the Interior (DOI).
April 22, 2010 – Deepwater Horizon rig fire,
Photo: U.S. Coast Guard.
The report found, “companies with the most serious environmental or safety violations before the BP spill are still racking up the most violations today. BP, which is among the top violators since 2000, actually has been cited for more major offshore violations in the last two years than before the spill.” The British petroleum giant has been subject to increased scrutiny after their damaged well suffered a blow-out and spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into Gulf in the largest non-wartime oil spill in human history. However, other top polluters such as Shell continue to rack up violations and loss-of-control incidents, and were no more likely to be inspected post-BP than they were before the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history.
The report found a few positive notes, however, such as 50% fewer injuries from off-shore drilling incidents and fewer loss-of-control incidents since the DOI adopted stronger regulations in 2010. Gulf Monitoring Consortium members keep a watchful eye on the chronically polluting fossil fuel industry from space, the sky, and the surface – read more about us at: http://www.gulfmonitor.org/about/current-members/
Read the full post-BP offshore safety and environmental protection report here: